Objective 11 Protect local education, health and community facilities from commercial development pressures
11.1.1 The StQW neighbourhood is not particularly well endowed with local facilities. Some have been lost in recent years and others remain under threat. The map below shows the main facilities in the area on which residents rely. The importance of these services remaining within walking distance, in a part of London with relatively low car-ownership levels, has been emphasised in responses to the StQW consultation survey.
Insofar as policies in a neighbourhood plan can influence the availability of these facilities, there are limitations on what can be achieved through planning policies.
11.1.2 The two GP surgeries in St Quintin Avenue have been under threat of closure, with the site sold for residential development. Latest information is that this threat is not live at the moment, although there remains local concern as to what will be the eventual outcome of a current ‘review of the primary care estate’ being undertaken by the NHS West London Clinical Commissioning Group. Hence the site remains allocated in this Draft Plan for social and community use.
11.1.3 The St Charles Hospital lies just outside the boundary of the neighbourhood area. Services on this site have been reconfigured as the St Charles Centre for Health and Wellbeing. This provides a range of primary care services including a 66 bed renal unit, diagnostics including X-rays, ultrasound, echocardiography, and phlebotomy. A range of Community clinics are also available, and the walk-in Urgent Care facility is one highly valued by local people.
11.1.4 This hospital has not delivered Accident and Emergency services in recent years, and Hammersmith Hospital in DuCane Road has hitherto provided the nearest A&E. This service closed in mid 2014 as a result of the NHS reconfiguration in North West London. This leaves St Mary’s in Paddington as the nearest A&E service for North Kensington, a source of concern to many residents.
11.1.5 In terms of education provision, the neighbourhood is well served at primary and pre-prep level, with Oxford Gardens Primary and Bassett House School. At secondary level, the new Kensington Academy and Leisure Centre has now opened in Lancaster Road, some half mile from the StQW neighbourhood.
11.1.6 Adult education facilities at Wornington Green (to the east of the neighbourhood) have been reduced as a result of redevelopment. The same applies to the Isaac Newton Centre of Ladbroke Grove, which has been leased by RBKC to the Alpha Plus Group for use as a preparatory school.
11.1.7 Westway Sports Centre, just to the south of the StQW area, provides a wide range of sports facilities.
Social and community facilities
11.2.1 The neighbourhood has long lacked any form of community building or meeting space, other than the local church hall. This hall is itself in regular use by Bassett House School and hence has limited availability for public meetings and other community events.
11.2.2 As explained in Section 4 of the Draft Plan, the West London Bowling Club is based on one of the original ‘backland’ sites incorporated in the original layout of the St Quintin Estate. The StQW Forum has worked with the club to increase its membership and widen its range of activities. Wider use of the clubhouse building has now added the stock of available community buildings, for meetings, lectures and other events. The building, the bowling green and its immediate surroundings has swiftly become a valued part of neighbourhood life, and is now is now a registered Community Asset.
11.2.3 The approved scheme for the new development in Argyll Place (Pangbourne Avenue) includes provision of 440sq.m of ‘community space’. It was on this basis that the development was deemed to meet the requirements of RBKC Core Strategy Policy CK1 in respect of loss of former hospital floorspace. This space (recently completed) is due to be used by a Montessori nursery school, and for a clubroom for a local youth football team.
HEALTH AND EDUCATION: DRAFT POLICY StQW 11
11a) To allocate the site of the St Quintin Health Centre in St Quintin Avenue for social and community use.
11b) In the event of any redevelopment of the site the St Quintin Health Centre, to require the developer to include sufficient good quality floorspace at ground floor level to provide replacement accommodation for the two existing GP surgeries to remain at this location.
REASONED JUSTIFICATION The Quintin Health Centre is the key health facility in the StQW Neighbourhood (the St Charles Health and Wellbeing Centre lying just outside the boundary). Proposed StQW Policies 11a and 11b are in general conformity with RBKC Strategic Objective CO1 on Keeping Life Local and Policy CK1 on protecting social and community uses.